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4 reasons why we can't resist

psychological thrillers

as seen in Duffy the Writer


There is nothing better than snuggling up on the couch after a long day, new book in hand. Delving into a psychological thriller can be especially exhilarating – it’s like going on an unexpected journey. You turn page after page, staying awake reading into the early hours… but let’s dig deeper. Why do we like psychological thrillers so much?

The thrill of feeling your heart racing

Psychological thrillers are exciting! They reel us in slowly, introducing morally ambiguous characters who all seem to be up to no good. You can’t trust anyone. There might be a frightening scenario, one which the reader wouldn’t want to be in, or there’s the nerve-wracking promise that something bad is about to happen. It makes us sit at the edge of our seat, maybe even biting our nails. These books are unpredictable, sometimes gory, and they leave us in the dark, constantly guessing what’s happened and why. We think we know, but usually, we don’t. The whole mix – the action, suspense, anxiety, and drama – is entertaining and thrilling. 

The intrigue behind the characters

We meet some pretty twisted characters in psychological thrillers. We’re allowed to experience what’s inside the head of unstable, often dangerous characters, and we can’t help but be intrigued. What makes them tick and why do they act the way they do? They’re also likely to be hiding dark secrets, ones we’re allowed glimpses of throughout the novel, events that are otherwise hidden behind closed doors. How can we turn away from this? We simply must know more.

Experience your fears through others

Most people are fearful of something – whether it’s spiders taking over their home, or running into a psychopath. Escaping into a psychological thriller allows readers to experience and confront fears in a fictional setting (you could think of it as therapy!). Also, these books are set in cities you might know, with some-what ordinary people in some-what ordinary homes. It seems real. Could this be about your neighbour? Could it happen to someone like you? 

Solving the puzzle


Psychological thrillers tend to pose questions within the first chapter. Who attacked this woman and why? Is the person accused of murder really guilty or not? With the ‘who done it?’ storyline, readers keep wanting to know the answers. How does it all fit together? We get to exercise the brain and think of possible solutions. Effective cliff-hangers also keep the story moving forward, throwing new obstacles or clues our way, making it impossible to put the book down. We want to solve the mystery.

Throwing yourself into a good psychological thriller is a great escape that also challenges us. And this can be quite addictive, so I believe this genre will be around for a while. Happy reading and I hope you enjoyed my 4 reasons why we can’t resist psychological thrillers!

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